I have been running 5ks for about 12 years and half marathons for about 5 years. All of a sudden, in April and June of this year, my pace is way off. I do run during the winter, but not really on a training plan. I ran a 4k race in February and tried to run at least once or twice a week. Now, I usually pick up my training to get ready for races in July through October. However, I just ran a race in June with about 4-5 minutes over my normal time for a 5K! Also, this past week, I attempted a 5k in Missouri (very hot) and for the first time, I felt I needed to walk and run! I did not have a major health change, no major weight gain, or anything else I can attribute this to. I just don't feel the way I used to when running. I used to not run at all in the winter and then pick up in the spring and still did not have this kind of change in pace. My goal is for a sub 10 min mile as this is where I was last year. I am no where near this now. Should I just focus on long runs and speed work to get me back to where I should be or is my body telling me something? I am a female and 47 yrs old, but that really should not mean anything different. I was running my PRs last year for my entire life and now running slower than ever. Any help would be much appreciated. My current plan is adapted from Art Lieberman which has worked great getting me ready every year- Run 4xs a week with my long run on a Sunday. I do speed work when I can on one of these days, as well as choosing long runs with hills. Thanks
Interesting take. Nothing has changed? I've got news for you - something's changed. You're 47, and on the road to 48 and beyond. I'm 48. I'm not saying you can't ever PR again, but at some point, your ability to PR based on your more youthful years isn't going to be there for you. I compete on the local circuit, and I see it all around me. Not everyone is the same, but certainly those folks past 45 slow down and it is pretty much year over year. Happens to the best of us. I'm a great admirer of a fellow around here who was All American in his youth, and has continued to run in the 17's even as he has reached 50. This year, 52, and he is struggling to get below 18.
Don't be discouraged. But, you must realize things will change. I am recovering from a foot injury, and am determined to show my 5K PR set last year wasn't my last. Only time will tell.
nowirun4fun- I have a little different take. I'm looking at your numbers and they are really good. Near elite good for your age. I agree tough to maintain THAT level as you get older. You are operating at the top of the curve and there is not really much room for improvement past the point your at. The majority of us runners operate further down the curve. I'm 51 for example and my PR is a 21:03 I have whittled it down from a 25:04 three years ago. What is my ceiling on a PR ? I have no idea , but I think I have a number of years to find out. Chefin is operating @ a 10 minute pace at age 47 slowing from past years. Whatever is slowing her down I'm sure can be corrected and improved on as there is room to improve. All I'm saying is relative to age the top runners will regress quicker.
Yo Bill - I agree with you 100%. When I reignited my running career several years back, I knew there were basically two curves in play. My PR potential for any given age, and my current physical condition which had to have been below that potential when I began. Right, so we know by training I can improve conditioning in hopes of reaching that potential, but at some point age potential is going to take over. I surely am much closer to potential than I was when I started, and quite possibly have reached it.
As for Chefin, I took a bit of an assumption that she had been doing this for several years and had considered she was at some level close to potential and wanted to get back to that. Of course, everyone's potential is limited by their ability to push their own pain/comfort envelope so to speak. She has to learn what that level is for herself. I'm just pointing out, all things considered equal, age will take its toll, it has to. And, overtime that potential is going to slip away. It is inevitable, despite what my 'science is soon going to help me to live forever friends' seem to think.
I think you both are right, one thing for sure for us masters is you had better be consistent or you will never gain anything. I think running more consistent will help you a ton, you don't have to race in the winter but you still need to train. And as we keep getting older this becomes ever more important. Loose it a lot faster than you gain it!
Thanks for the comments! I guess what I am really worried about is that I did a 5K last week and felt like I had to walk because I had no energy. I always push forward, but not for this race. It was around 90 degrees in Missouri. I have never done that in a race, other than a mountainous hill at the end of a race that I was not prepared for. Yesterday I ran over 6 miles with no problem; my pace was really slow, but I did not feel like I could not do it. So, I guess I just have to figure out what is going on and forge ahead. You are all inspirations!!!! Keep up the great work!
Diet, heat, humidity any number of factors, 90 degrees and humid that could be it! One race/day is not a trend! Good luck
I am curious. Do you do a regular exercise workout along with your running? Your problem might be that you need to develop your core a little more to increase your stamina. I agree with BOSNPM that any number of factors could have adversly effected your race.
No, I don't currently do a workout with my running. I am looking for a good core workout and a good warmup. So far, I have done o.k. skimping on both, but I think my body is telling me that I cannot do this anymore. Any suggestions on what you feel is helpful? Thanks
I do basic situps and pushups along with stretches and balance training. I started out doing 4or 5 a day and now do 50 pushups and 100 situps. Build up slowly. I kind of created my own workout routine but I'm sure there are many available on the internet.-Bill